MPs and Peers have come together to establish an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Malawi. The group had its inaugural AGM on the 29th November, with strong support from all the parties.
This new APPG was first proposed in the 13th September Westminster Hall debate looking at the Scotland-Malawi relationship. The group is being established to promote and support the UK’s relationship with Malawi.
The first meeting was very well attended, with more MPs and Peers than chairs available, so standing room only! 18 MPs and Peers attended the meeting and a further ten sent apologies, asking to join the group. While the group is open to all Parliamentarians, 27 of the 28 MPs and Peers were Scottish.
Patrick Grady MP (SNP, Glasgow North) was elected as the Chair of the APPG and Lord McConnell as the Honorary President.
Vice Chairs were elected from each of the parties: Ross Thomson (Scottish Conservatives, Aberdeen South), Hugh Gaffney (Scottish Labour, Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill), Christine Jardine MP (Scottish Liberal Democrats, Edinburgh West), and Jim Shannon (DUP, Strangford).
David Linden (SNP, Glasgow East) was elected Treasurer and Kirstene Hair (Scottish Conservatives, Angus) was elected Secretary.
David Hope-Jones from the Scotland Malawi Partnership was elected to head the group’s Secretariat.
Through 2018, the APPG will look to focus on: the 2019 Malawi elections, the UK Government’s forthcoming Africa Strategy, the UK-Malawi Double Taxation Treaty, UK-Malawi business links, UK visas for those invited from Malawi, and understanding the many UK-Malawi civic links. The group hopes to invite the President of Malawi, the UK Minister of State for Africa, the Malawi High Commissioner to the UK, the British High Commissioner to Malawi and the Head of DFID Malawi to address the group in 2018.
The group looks forward to working closely with the Malawi Cross Party Group in the Scottish Parliament and with the National Assembly in Malawi.
The Scotland Malawi Partnership is very grateful for the continued all-party enthusiasm and support across both Scottish MPs and MSPs, with Parliamentarians eager to represent, champion and support SMP members’ work with Malawi.